Modern day football, what’s in it for the fans? by Goonerboy
Morning crazy gooners far and wide, what a week this has been, City humbled, United late drama, Chelsea humiliated, and Spurs stealing a win, reminds us why we love the premier league. Speaking of Spurs, the comments from their manager claiming that ego is the only gain for winning trophies makes me cringe. I know this is actually coming late, but the moment I saw that comment I felt something in me which prompted me to write this but I couldn’t afford the time, until now of course.
If we are to talk about that comment alone, it is deeper that it sounds, but it proves the game is ever evolving and the fans who are the life blood of any football team are not really appreciated. Football appears to be a consistently evolving economical force. With a seemingly endless supply of commercial opportunities. We’ve seen more money pumped into the sport so those wealthy enough can get even more money out of it. I have seen massive changes in the structure of competitions, the running of football clubs, the mentality of players and most recently, where a club might call ‘home’. Although there may be several contributing factors to these changes, there is most certainly one thing that rules all. Money.
When analysing the impact money has had on the sport of football, I began to wonder if there was one thing money might not change. One thing that the greed of others and potential financial rewards couldn’t alter. Aside from the cynics amongst us, I believe there is one thing that hasn’t changed (or at least hasn’t changed so drastically) in the game of football. What it means to be a fan. Not what it’s like to be a fan, we know match day tickets can cost a small fortune nowadays (not to mention the obligatory pie and cuppa that goes with it) and you practically have to take out a loan to buy the latest version of your team’s kit. That is the experience of being a fan, I’m referring to the emotion of being a fan. Our passion for a certain team, our adulation of our favourite players, the ecstasy we can’t contain after beating our local ‘enemies’ or the frustration we take out on others after losing three valuable points. We may not look like your perception of it, we may not act like your perception of it (for the most part anyway) but us true football fans are almost like a modern day tribe.
We have our ceremony of watching the game, our match day rituals and superstitions, the team we worship and the players we see as heroic figures. There’s our badge or crest that symbolises who we are, our tribal colours and garments that represent to whom we belong, as well as our chants and songs that are used to express our devotion. Many fans even go as far as having their team permanently etched onto their skin as a means of expressing such a deep connection to them. Although a group of strangers, we are brought together by our loyalty and shared beliefs, a common desire amongst us all, the desire to achieve dominance over other clubs. Our sense of belonging to this tribe and similar values as individuals can be determined by all kinds of reasons, be it territorial, hereditary or, as is becoming increasingly common in later generations of fans, choice.
But at the end of all these, what do the fans gain or what would they consider as a reward for their loyalty?
I like to think it is trophies, the glory and and the pride that comes with it. To save your time, I would like to narrow this down to the premier league. Klopp has come out, in a way, to support the notion of Pochettino that the cups are not as important as the being in the top 4, a notion Arsenal and Wenger were ridiculed for has now become the norm Why? Because of the money…
Candidly, fans want to see their teams compete in the elite competition but you get the feeling that fans and the clubs have different reasons for that, as only a few clubs want to genuinely try to win it. The plan is to make up the numbers and make money out of it, yet another reason Wenger was doing well as far as the Arsenal board were concerned.
Pochettino again said, “Top 4 keeps me in the job not cups”. Was this not the same reason Wenger could do no wrong in the eyes of the board UNTIL he failed to qualify for the competition twice on the the spin?
You can talk about the biased media and hatred towards Wenger and Arsenal because we always did things the right way, but that is not the point of this article. To club owners, the FA and governing bodies and the players, it is all about the money, while fans get very little in return. That’s why at this age in my life, I don’t get overly bitter about the game anymore We win I am happy, we lose am sad, that’s it!
This also shows that not only Arsenal loves the top 4 after all, we have one or two teams aiming to win the title, others are targeting top 4, and some are just desperate to stay in the league and that’s it year in year out, and while those involved make their millions, what’s in it for the fans?
Am sorry i have to bore you this far but am gonna leave you with this quote and make of it what you wish..
“ If you want to win championships, then you would never get involved”
We all despise the source of this quote but in modern day football, it is the reality.